Short-termism impedes progress of hundreds of millions of people. The prospects of around 800 million of the world’s poorest people remain dire. The global economy is experiencing a moderate upturn, and momentum around sustainable investing is growing, the UN said today.

But the vast majority of investment is still short-term oriented and commitments by the international community to create sustainable economies are not being met.

While Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) have the potential to achieve faster policy implementation and ensure good maintenance standards, an audit of such projects in the European Union shows "widespread shortcomings and limited benefits", says a Special Report (09/2018) by the EU Court of Auditors.

The report of the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Auditors, dated 20 March, became available here last week.

Figures released on 10 April by the Federal Council show that Switzerland has clearly missed its own development assistance target. The country is thus moving further away from the international goal of allocating 0.7% of gross national income to development funding. While this allocation remained just about stable across OECD countries, in Switzerland it dropped from 0.53% to 0.46%. A hefty 14% contraction.

The United Nations and system organizations should engage with donors in a dialogue at the strategic level for the adoption of donor reporting templates and accommodating the common information needs, demands and requirements of donors and the regulatory frameworks and capacities of the organizations.

This is one of the main recommendations highlighted in a new report by the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU), an independent external oversight body of the United Nations system, reviewing donor reporting requirements across the UN system.

The JIU review focused on the United Nations system organizations that have the highest number of donor reports and on the 16 major donors to the United Nations system, including the European Commission.

Most farms in developing and least developed countries are small, generally plots of less than two hectares of land. Smallholder farmers manage over 80% of the world’s estimated 500 million small farms and provide over 80% of the food consumed in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, contributing significantly to poverty reduction and food security. As much as 75% of global seed diversity in staple food crops is held and actively used by smallholder farms. However, despite their vital role in the global agricultural community, the participation and priorities of smallholder farmers – most of whom are women – are often neglected. Effective mechanisms giving smallholder farmers a voice in policymaking are imperative to address their needs and interests, to promote the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources and more broadly, to ensure food security.

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